MONTFORD POINT MARINE NEWSLETTER OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2009
Fellow members, supporters and friends,
It’s an honor to take a moment to address you during this exciting time for our association. I would like to publicly thank you and congratulate you for your continuous dedication, commitment, and hard work. We are moving at an unprecedented rate towards accomplishing many of the goals that were set forth in my presidential intent letter, but there is still much we have to do to keep the momentum going. Autumn may be the season of preparation for the winter and settling in to rest but ladies and gentlemen we cannot afford to rest at this point when there is so much at stake. We must stay engaged, stay the course, remain committed and remember why we are doing the things we do, and that’s to bring Our Original Montford Pointers the recognition they are due.
I also must reiterate the importance of complying with requests from the administrative offices. There is a method to our madness and it’s only so that we can streamline processes to make things move smoother and more efficiently in the association. Again, I am asking that each of you re-evaluate, re-engage, and show accountability and work together to keep our momentum going! Our organization is looking better every day, and in our efforts to “preserve the legacy” of what those Montford Pointers did for us all, it’s because we are building in the present, what they’ve laid down for us in the past, so that we will have a promising future. I’d also like to extend a Happy 234th Birthday wish to the United States Marine Corps and each of you. I applaud your service and dedication to your Corps and Country.
James T. Averhart, Jr. James T. Averhart, Jr. Chief Warrant Officer Four (Active) National President Montford Point Marine Association, Inc.
From the National Public Relations Officer;
We have had some very exciting movements in our efforts to have the United States Congress award a Congressional Gold Medal to our Original Montford Pointers. During the last week in September our National President, James Averhart, three original Montford Pointers; LtCol Joseph Carpenter, 1stSgt George Kidd and Corporal James Ferguson and myself visited the Russell Building, where the Senators Offices are, and had a meeting with Illinois Senators Richard “Dick” Durbin and Roland Burris to discuss the Congressional Gold Medal initiative. I am pleased to report that soon after that meeting the Senate assigned our request a bill number (S1695). http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc111/s1695_is.xml I would like to personally thank one of Senator Burris’ aides, former Marine MyRon McGee, for all his efforts in making this happen. Senator Burris read the bill on the floor of the US Senate twice in late September http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?r111:30:./temp/~r111K6KupR: and we are actively seeking sponsorship in the US House. US Representative, Corrine Brown (D) Florida, has also been instrumental in our efforts to receive the Gold Medal from Congress. Members of Representative Brown’s office have been aggressively seeking co-sponsors. We would to particularly thank Congressional aide Lee Footer for all his help in making this happen.
What WE need to do now is to begin the process of gathering documentation from our Original Montford Pointers in the form of DD214s or discharge papers that will document that they received training at Camp Montford Point from 1942-1949. Ideally we would like our Chapter Presidents to gather this information and forward to the National Legislative Officer (Joe Geeter). Individuals may also send COPIES of this information directly to Joe, who will keep a spreadsheet of items received. Please tract our progress and make comments on this bill at; http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s1695/comments
This bill must first make it out of a Committee before it is discuss on the Senate or House Floor. Please view the attached website to learn more about the process and who is sitting on the committee that will decide if this Bill makes it to the floor. These committee members must also be the on our “who to contact list” of individuals that we need to lobby for their support. This website will help members identify committee members; http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-1695
We will also need to extend the lobbying effort to all members and supporters. This newsletter does not have the space to give everyone the address of their US Senator or Representative, however, we are encouraging all members and supporters to write these individuals and mention Senate Bill 1695 in their letter. The National Office will provide a template letter that those who are computer savvy can fill in and send to your elected officials. Please “copy to” Joe Geeter on all letters and emails. There will be much more details covering this in future correspondence.
National News: MEMBERSHIP CARDS: The National Office has purchased a new Membership Card Machine! President Averhart has been busy issuing membership cards to those members who have paid their dues and for one reason or another, did not receive their cards. Moving forward, all cards will be accompanied by a personal letter from the National President and are made with anti destruction materiel so they will last for a very long time in a wallet or purse. Chapter Presidents are encouraged to communicate directly with the National President for membership cards until these duties are turned over to our National Recording Secretary, Diedra Ware in the near future.
ROSTERS: The Association is continuing to rebuild our National Database of members. Chapter Presidents are strongly encouraged to send Diedra your latest membership rosters immediately! The National VP in concert with the Recording Secretary has strongly encouraged Chapter Presidents and Regional Vice to submit their Roster in order to update the database. Thus far of the 28 Chapters on 25% (7) Chapters have fully complied - leaving 21 (75%) unaccounted for. In addition we sought name address and phone information, along with their member status. The deadline has passed and we are missing windows of opportunity as it relates to accurate mailings. Regional Vice Presidents are encouraged to REACH OUT to each Chapter personally so that this can be resolved by the next Monthly Conference Call.
MEMBERSHIP: Annual membership dues were due in September. We still have far too many members who are not current in their dues to the National HQ. Our National dues remain at only $25.00 per year and this money is essential to having funds necessary to continue to keep the membership informed and for operating and scholarship expenses needed to run our Association.
NATIONAL REPORTS: A reminder to all National Officers that your final convention reports were due to the National President 60 days after the convention. Please get these reports in on time so that the 2009 Fall Call Council may be more productive. National Business Office Address: All official Correspondence to the National President or National Office should be sent to: Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Business Office Post Office Box 1117 Quantico, Virginia, 22134
Banquet to Honor the Montford Point Marines: Horseshoe Casino http://www.horseshoe-indiana.com/casinos/caesars-indiana/hotel-casino/property-home.shtml in Hammond, Indiana (just outside Chicago) is planning a Banquet to honor the Montford Point Marines. Horseshoe Casino did a similar Banquet for the Tuskegee Airmen earlier this year. Banquet will be held at the Casino in Hammond on February 21st 2010. We have partnered with the new Chicago South Loop Hotel http://www.chicagosouthloophotel.com/ to provide rooms for those traveling at a cost of $89.00 plus applicable taxes. The Horseshoe Casino has agreed to provide transportation to and from the Banquet to the South Loop Hotel at no cost to our members. Further, there will be no cost for members to attend the Banquet. Transportation to and from Chicago and the cost of the hotel will be the responsibility of the members. This is a great opportunity for members to be recognized on a large scale and we encourage all Original Montford Pointers who can attend to contact National Public Relations Officer Joe Geeter at 610-495-3619 for more details.
Fall Council 2009: In accordance with our National by Laws, our 2009 fall council will be held telephonically on Saturday, October 24th, 2009 starting at 3:00PM EST/2:00PM CST/12:00PM PST. Only those National Officers part of the National Executive Committee are required to attend. Chapter Presidents and other National Executive Council Members may listen in. The Call in information is 1-866-376-6162 Pin Code#5101331076#.
Spring Council 2010: will be held 15-18 April 2010 in the Fredericksburg, VA area. The Quantico Chapter is the host chapter of next year’s convention. Please continue to check both these updates and the National Webpage for further information.
Convention 2010: Convention 2010 will also be held in the Fredericksburg area from July 21-25th. Please mark these dates on your calendars and more information will be included on our national website and in this update soon.
Convention 2011: 2009 MPMA Chapter of the Year Atlanta was voted to host our convention in 2011. Those of us who attended the 2002 convention in Atlanta remember an efficiently ran convention with a lot of activities. We are expected the same in 2001. The Atlanta Chapter will fully brief and present their plan for 2011 at our 2010 Spring Council.
Convention 2012. We find ourselves in a great position for upcoming conventions. There has already been preliminary buzz about convention 2012 with at least 3 chapters vying for the honor. We are asking those chapters to be prepared to professionally brief the National Executive Council at the 2010 Spring Council at the members will vote at convention 2011. The contact information for our National Recording Secretary, Diedra Ware is; 443-802-4898 Cell and 703-567-7890, home. Diedra can be reached via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Diedra is asking all Chapters to submit (or resubmit) your chapter rosters as she continues to ensure our National Roster is up-to-date with your members.
Chapter Happenings: Chicago #2 will hold their Annual President’s Ball on Friday 13 November 2009 beginning at 6:00 PM at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, 2233 South Martin L. King Drive, Chicago IL 60616. Ticket Prices are $65.00 each and may be purchased by calling 773-873-6600. Chicago will also have a journal for this event and ads may be purchased by contacting Rochelle Crump immediately at 773-895-8015.
New York Metro Will hold their Annual Dinner Dance in concert with the US Marine Corps’ Birthday on Sunday November 8th at Antun’s Caterer’s 96-43 Springfield Blvd, Queens Village NY. Tickets are $75.00 each and may be purchased by contacting the following; NY Office 212-267-3318; Carl Luke, 718-529-0124 or Ken Rollock at 201-569-7113.
Atlanta #5: Held their 1st Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 10th 2009 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1325 Virginia Ave (East Point) Atlanta, Georgia. Along with the National President, Senior Regional VP Kenneth Crutcher, National Treasurer Charles Stallard and I were in attendance. Six Original Montford Point Marines were honored for their service by guest of honor and MPMA Hall of Famer Lieutenant General Ronald S. Coleman. Over 320 members and supporters gathered for a superior chapter function. Chapter President Linda Sykes and her dedicated members are to be commended for putting on a first class event! Washington DC Chapter #6: Will hold their Marine Corps Birthday Celebration on Saturday, 14 November 2009 beginning at 6:00 PM at the Washington Navy Yard Catering and Conference Center. Tickets are $60.00 and may be purchased by contacting Reuben McNair at 202-577-3678 or 202-529-0845.
Los Angeles #9 will hold their 44th Anniversary and the 234th Marine Corps Birthday celebration on Saturday November 14th from 6:00 -11:00 PM at the Alondra Country Club Golf Course in Lawndale, California. 90260, 310-217-9917. Tickets are $50.00 each and can be purchased by contacting L.E. (Mike) Johnson 909-815-1972 or by email at email@example.com .
Detroit Chapter #19 will hold their annual Black History Month event on Sunday February 21st 2009. Tickets will be $30.00 each. This event is still in the planning stage but newly elected Chapter President Robert Middleton wanted members and supporters to mark this event on their calendars. For more information please contact Mr. Middleton at 313-300-0165. Congratulations Mr. Middleton on your election! Special thanks to former Detroit Chapter President Sylvia Riley for leading that chapter over the past few years!
Louisville #22 has a new website; http://mpmalouisvillechapter22.com/ Please visit this site to find out the latest information about our Louisville Chapter. The Louisville Chapter will hold their 6th Annual Covington-Hagan Scholarship Banquet on Saturday March 20th 2010 at Mastersons from 6:00 11:00 PM Tickets for this event are $50.00 and may be purchased from Louisville Chapter President Charles Stallard. Charles may be reached at 502-231-0132 or 502-550-2423 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Major General retired Leo V. Williams III will be the featured speaker
Jacksonville #29: Will hold their Birthday Ball honoring the 234th birth of our Corps on Saturday, November 14th beginning at 6:00 PM at the Clarion Airport Conference Hotel, 2101 Dixie Clipper Drive, Jacksonville, FL. Tickets are $50.00 each and may be purchased from Donna Webster at 904-534-8013 or Maurice Grant at 904-764-3048.
Quantico# 32 Held their 4th Annual Commemorative Ball at the Clubs of Quantico on Saturday, August 29th. Betty Mosley Brown EdD, Associate Director of the Veterans Affairs for Women Veterans and former Marine was the keynote speaker. Dr. Brown gave a rousing speech that drew numerous applauses and a much deserved standing ovation upon her finishing her speech. National President Averhart and I attended this well planned event that honored eight Original Montford Pointers.
TAPS/Final Formation: MSgt Alvin Bankhead: Original Montford Pointer enlisting in 1942 and career Marine Alvin Bankhead recently passed. Mr. Bankhead was prominently featured in our recent documentary film and uttered the profane line that “there are still a few wrinkles in the sheets” when it comes to total equality. Marine Bankhead was a regular at Councils and Conventions for many years and if you ever wanted to be entertained, just put Marine Bankhead and 1stSgt George Kidd in the same room and enjoy. The two of them were very close friends for many years. 1stSgt Kidd attended the services to say goodbye to his dear friend. 1stSgt Ellis Cunningham: One of the true “Giants” of Montford Point and the Association died on September 26th 2009. Ellis was an instrumental part of this Association for many years. An Original Montford Pointer who served during WWII and was an Iwo Jima survivor. Ellis was wounded in the Korean conflict and served in Vietnam, Ellis was a much sought after veteran who was interviewed often and traveled frequently to Montford Point events. National President James Averhart led a contingent of Original Montford Pointers and members at his services in Charleston. 1stSgt and his lovely wife Lucille had been married for 55 years! Ellis will be deeply missed by us allL Mrs. George Taylor: Mattie Mae Taylor, wife of Original Montford Pointer George Taylor, passed on 18 September 2009. Mattie Mae and George were married for over 55 years! Deeply loved and admired by many, her funeral drew close to 700 friends and family to include the Major of Lansing, Michigan and numerous dignitaries from far and near. George also lost his sister, Elizabeth Ann Bright on October 8th. Ms. Elizabeth was 82 years old. George himself recent suffered and anorism but was lucky enough to be at the doctor’s office when it was discovered. George is now recovering very well and he wanted all to know that he is OK. If anyone’s needs George’s home number please call or email me. Past National President William “Bill” Hill: recently passed in the Chicago area. President Hill led our Association from 1973-1974. No further details are available about his passing. National Chaplain: Chapter Presidents and members are reminded to encourage our elder members to prepare a bio for the press and the funeral home. We often get last minute requests from the family asking about their loved one’s service dates, rank, etc… Please make sure that up-to-date bio information is ready at the Chapter level. Members are reminded to report the lost of members and supporters immediately to our National Chaplin, Reverend James Moore. Reverend Moore may be reached at 843-846-0881 or email at: email@example.com KUDOs to retired Marine Major General Clifford Stanley. President Barrack Obama has nominated retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Clifford Stanley as undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness — the Pentagon’s top personnel official. Stanley, who retired from the military in 2002 after 33 years of service, most recently served as president of Scholarship America, which the White House described as “the nation’s largest nonprofit, private-sector scholarship organization,” with more than 50,000 volunteers in 42 states and a full-time staff of 160. http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/48755320-president-obama-announces-more-key-administration-posts# As always, please continue to check our official website for more information through the Association at www.montfordpointmarines.com or www.mpma28.com http://www.mpmalejeune10.org or http://www.mpmanyc.com or www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org or http://mpmalouisvillechapter22.com/ Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the Legacy of our heroes!
HAPPY 234TH MARINE CORPS’ BIRTHDAY AND VETERANS DAY TO YOU ALL! In recognition of your service to our country, all veterans and active duty military personnel are invited to eat free at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar Restaurants this Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov.11, 2009. For additional details, visit: www.applebees.com/vetsday